ELECTION 2016: AGENDA OF THE NEXT PRESIDENT
Starting Feb. 9, 2016, the Inquirer is coming out with a 10-part series on pressing national concerns that should be high on the agenda of the five contenders in the May 9 presidential election. The series should help Filipinos choose wisely the country's next leader.
In line with the Inquirer's "ThINQ.Vote." advocacy, we have asked the presidential candidates to outline their concrete plans of action in dealing with 10 decades-long issues on poverty, economy and jobs, food security, peace and order, corruption, health care, foreign policy, traffic, climate change and Internet connectivity.
Listed is a summary of the presidential candidates' concrete action plans to reduce poverty in the Philippines. For the full details of their plans, click here.
- Implement government projects to attract capital and generate jobs.
- Raise agricultural productivity by reengineering the land reform program into a well-guided agri-agra program.
- Make manufacturing and export sectors more competitive through infrastructure and technology improvements.
- Accelerate development of the tourism industry.
- Open the economy wider to foreign investments.
- Create employment and livelihood programs.
- Strengthen poverty-reduction programs.
- Develop ancestral lands to provide income for indigenous peoples.
- Provide free irrigation to lessen burden of farmers.
- Expand agricultural production through agri-financing reforms and implementation of Land Bank programs for farmers.
- Continue Conditional Cash Transfer program and integrate it with livelihood programs.
- Implement competition law to level the playing field.
- Strengthen SSS micro-insurance to promote membership among informal sector.
- Lower classroom-to-student ratio to 1:30; raise teachers' pay to P25,000; and maximize digital learning technology.
- Expand scholarship programs and improve student loan accessibility to increase access to higher education.
- Sustain and expand the coverage of the Conditional Cash Transfer program.
- Offer 100-percent scholarship for top graduates of public high schools.
- Boost development at local level by widening scope of bottom-up budgeting (BuB) to cover municipalities.
- Under expanded BuB, P100 billion will be given to municipal governments annually to fuel grassroots-level development and spur countryside economic progress.
- Raise minimum wage to living wage level or lower income taxes.
- Continue Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program.
- Complement CCT with grant-for-work program.
- Implement CCT program jointly with local governments to reduce costs and promote ownership of the program among local officials.
- Establish a National Congressional Commission that will prepare legislative proposals for dealing with poverty.
Listed is a summary of the presidential candidates' action plans to strengthen the Philippine economy and create jobs for Filipinos. For the full details of their plans, click here.
- Pursue the amendment of restrictive constitutional provisions.
- Strengthen agriculture by creating economic zones, promoting agribusiness and granting subsidies to farmers.
- Strengthen business process outsourcing by creating a separate Department of Information and Technology.
- Strengthen tourism by crafting a national tourism strategy.
- Strengthen manufacturing and export by improving infrastructure.
- Craft measures to curb contractualization.
- Expand the coverage of SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-ibig.
- Revitalize basic industries.
- Prioritize agriculture and agricultural development.
- Create an environment conducive to investment.
- Lower electricity costs.
- Prioritize infrastructure gaps.
- Alleviate poverty through a comprehensive development of key sectors.
- Craft a participative, collaborative and innovative infrastructure program.
- Boost regional competitiveness.
- Implement a simple and stable tax system.
- Create an attractive, healthy and predictable investment climate.
- Boost job generation and security.
- Invest in Filipinos by providing quality education, training, infrastructure and creating more and higher value jobs.
- Revitalize the agricultural sector.
- Ensure the resurgence of the manufacturing industry.
- Spur growth in local economies by making capital more accessible.
- Modernize agriculture by investing in infrastructure and research.
- Reinvigorate manufacturing and re-energize exports.
- Improve the investment climate by amending the restrictive provisions of the Constitution, among others.
- Reduce unemployment and underemployment by ending contractualization and creating more jobs.
Listed is a summary of the presidential candidates' action plans to address food security now and in the future. For the full details of their plans, click here.
- Create a program, in coordination with local governments, to build climate-resilient agricultural communities.
- Train farmers in innovative ways of raising crops to make them adapt to climate change.
- Introduce and promote crop insurance.
- Shift agricultural framework from traditional farming to agribusiness to foster diversification and increased production.
- Increase agricultural finance.
- Identify regions suitable for the growing of needed crops and provide government support to production.
- Make irrigation free to farmers.
- Build infrastructure to facilitate transport of produce from farms to markets, including a railway system in Mindanao.
- Build food terminals in key areas to receive delivery of farm produce.
- Establish a Department of Fisheries and Marine Resource Management.
- Train farmers in better rice cultivation and invest in "rice bowls."
- Ensure crop quantity and quality, and build infrastructure for storage.
- Develop high-yield rice varieties and other crops, and maximize use of suitable land to boost production.
- Set up a multiagency program that will link small farmers to a national school feeding program.
- Introduce a lunch program in elementary and high schools.
- Provide irrigation.
- Invest in postharvest facilities.
- Increase rice production.
- Provide more opportunities for farmers to pull themselves out of poverty.
- Encourage sustainable small-scale farming, and stop rice cartels and other illegal agricultural imports.
- Provide incentives for banks to lend directly to farmers.
- Promote contract growing to help small farmers establish links with commercial farms and manufacturers.
- Study how CCT program could directly support farming families.
- Emphasize effective use of land and other resources.
Listed is a summary of the presidential candidates' concrete action plans to secure peace and order in the country. For the full details of their plans, click here.
- Appoint Sen. Gringo Honasan as crime czar.
- Ensure that the PNP, AFP, NBI, DOJ and DILG work together to combat crime and ensure justice.
- Implement the modernization of the AFP and PNP.
- Strengthen the judiciary to make it effective in resolving criminal cases.
- Pursue peace negotiations, work to deal with the causes of armed conflict and introduce legislation that would protect the rights of the Bangsamoro people.
- Pursue the peace process with rebels, with efforts in Mindanao directed at specific areas, given cultural differences within the Bangsamoro.
- Reinstate the death penalty for drug-related offenses and heinous crimes.
- Institutionalize coordination between the police and military through task forces in hot spots.
- Increase the salaries of policemen and soldiers.
- Develop Mindanao as a key effort toward Asean integration.
- Continue peace talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF, and MNLF and MILF, with indigenous peoples and Christians in Mindanao included in the negotiations.
- Push legislation for the modernization of the PNP.
- Turn over the AFP's internal security role to the PNP.
- Install security cameras for 24-hour operation in communities with high crime rates.
- Set up a local government-police witness protection program.
- Implement the PNP "Oplan Lambat-Sibat" throughout the country.
- Promote public trust in the police to foster cooperation and ensure safety in the communities.
- Pursue the Mindanao peace process.
- Invest in Mindanao infrastructure to stimulate development and bring government services to the people of the island, including education and health care.
- Consult all sectors to improve the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law before refiling it in Congress.
- Launch aggressive fight against illegal drugs.
- Restore the dignity of policemen and soldiers.
- Dismantle private armies and invest in better equipment and training for the PNP and AFP.
- Abolish the "padrino" system in the AFP and PNP through an antipolitical recommendations law.
- Adopt a no-postponement policy for the courts and resolve the Maguindanao and Mamasapano massacres, as well as "lumad" evictions and killings.
Listed is a summary of the presidential candidates' concrete action plans to address widespread corruption in government offices today.For the full details of their plans, click here.
- As transparency is the greatest deterrent to corruption, work for the approval of the freedom of information (FOI) bill.
- Simple living will be the rule for all public servants, starting with the President.
- Pass the FOI bill.
- Amend the bank secrecy law to remove the protection of public servants under investigation for corruption.
- Streamline the government by abolishing redundant offices and eliminating conflicting mandates.
- Certify FOI bill as urgent and implement a disclosure policy that will allow citizens to hold government officials accountable and demand responsive and transparent service.
- Computerize front-line government services and ensure public access to government procurement documents.
- Conduct a trimedia campaign against corruption.
- Regulate the participation of political dynasties in elections.
- Strengthen the campaign against red tape.
- Continue the fight against corruption and move forward to the next level of progress, where there is freedom from hunger and fear, and where Filipinos can dream.
- Enact FOI bill.
- Certify the antipremature campaigning, antipolitical dynasty and antiepal bills as urgent.
- Right-size the government through a task force that will review all government programs and projects.
- Support Supreme Court decisions on pork barrel and the Disbursement Acceleration Progam.
- Restore meritocracy in the government through an antipolitical recommendation law.
Listed is a summary of the presidential candidates' concrete action plans to improve basic healthcare in the country.For the full details of their plans, click here.
- Guarantee easy access to healthcare for the poorest Filipinos and for others based on their ability to pay.
- Strengthen the ability of local governments to deliver health services.
- Coordinate national and local health plans through an automated information system.
- Strengthen the health insurance system.
- Build infrastructure and provide facilities, staff and supplies for complete health services.
- Review local antismoking ordinances to make them conform to national antismoking laws.
- Sustain preventive health programs, particularly adequate nutrition.
- Introduce a national daily exercise program.
- Implement the reproductive health law equitably.
- Extend PhilHealth coverage to all Filipinos.
- Build tertiary hospitals with intensive care units in all provinces.
- Harness the private sector in the provision of hospitals and clinics to augment government resources in funding universal healthcare.
- Prioritize preventive healthcare and maintenance, and establish a voucher system for free access to primary healthcare and outpatient services at any clinic.
- Reduce medicine prices by promoting competition in manufacturing and distribution.
- Ensure that family planning clinics are adequately funded and equipped.
- Pursue PhilHealth coverage for all Filipinos.
- Ensure that all hospitals and clinics have capacity and capability to handle people’s healthcare needs.
- Ensure that every village has a rural health unit to provide residents with immediate and quality health service.
- Expand the coverage of PhilHealth.
- Introduce publicly financed health insurance covering essential services for all.
- Develop a second benefit package, funded through a range of financing systems, with only poor people exempted from all payments.
- Stop the PCSO requirement of endorsement from public officials before giving medical assistance to the needy.
- Oppose the privatization of hospitals.
Listed is a summary of the presidential candidates' concrete action plans on the Philippines' relations with other foreign countries.For the full details of their plans, click here.
- Protect Philippine sovereignty through global cooperation.
- Promote constructive bilateral dialogue with other countries.
- Pursue all legal options to promote Philippine sovereignty, including consultation with and securing support of international community.
- As most disputed areas in the South China Sea are in international waters, pursue resolution of disputes through international law.
- Be open to dialogue with China with involvement of Asean.
- Promote inter-Asean trade by removing roadblocks to South Mindanao-North Sulawesi ro-ro link.
- Push industrialization in Mindanao for production of high-value goods that can be exported to Asean countries.
- Promote Zamboanga Ecozone and Southern Mindanao Growth Corridor as gateway to Asean while providing jobs to residents.
- Strengthen the Philippines’ bargaining power by nurturing a stronger, more relevant economy with a modern military.
- Expand international trade by joining free-trade blocs.
- Assume leadership role in Asean, whose potential as an integrated economic force can rival the economic might of India and China.
- Adhere to international law in settling disputes with other countries.
- Pursue Philippines’ claims in the South China Sea through arbitration in the United Nations.
- Push for the conclusion of a binding code of conduct for all claimants in the South China Sea.
- Pursue other aspects of the Philippines’ relations with China, as the South China Sea dispute is not the totality of relations between Manila and Beijing.
- Call for renegotiation of the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States.
- Adopt second level of diplomacy with regard to South China Sea dispute, as China is keen on bilateral negotiations.
- Impose measures to minimize environmental damage in Philippine seas caused by foreign vessels.
- Review Philippine partipation in trade deals to ensure maximum benefit without jeopardizing national interest.
Listed is a summary of the presidential candidates' concrete action plans on the Philippines' vehicular traffic congestion problem.For the full details of their plans, click here.
- Coordinate and supervise traffic management efforts of local governments and government agencies
- Strictly enforce traffic rules
- Correct infrastructure deficiencies and embark on flood-control study and projects in Metro Manila
- Upgrade mass transit systems, modernize public bus service and abolish boundary system
- Decongest Metro Manila by relocating government offices
- Review volume reduction strategies like number coding, as they have not really eased congestion
- Adopt affordable, efficient mass transport systems in urban centers
- Decongest cities by providing economic opportunities in the countryside
- Legislate national land use program that will serve as basis for regional and local zoning laws
- Build railway systems in the regions
- Get more coaches and provide efficient maintenance for LRT, MRT and PNR
- Implement Gold Standard Bus Rapid Transit System
- Introduce commuter-friendly use of highways; promote road-sharing systems like pedestrian and bicycle lanes
- Maximize use of budget, public-private partnerships, and foreign assistance for infrastructure development
- Relocate nonfrontline government offices outside Metro Manila
- Continue improving mass transport systems
- Expand Metro Manila railway systems to surrounding provinces
- Decongest major thoroughfares like Edsa by centralizing bus operations and replacing boundary system with monthly compensation for bus drivers
- Strictly enforce vehicular and pedestrian traffic rules
- Develop countryside to decongest urban centers
- Review coding schemes
- Impose, with legislative support if necessary, a progressive taxing scheme for purchase of more than car per family, as well as regulations for car loans
- Require large shopping malls and commercial centers to provide space for bus stops
- Consider replacing boundary system with fixed compensation for bus drivers
- Continue and replicate the point-to-point bus system
Listed is a summary of the presidential candidates' concrete action plans plans to combat climate change and protect the Philippine environment and wildlife. For the full details of their plans, click here.
- Pass sustainable forest management bill; pursue alternative tenurial arrangements for productive forest areas
- Formulate policies that would enable the national government and the local governments to deal better with the effects climate change
- Amend land-use and related laws to make infrastructure disaster resilient
- Finance climate change projects and implement flood-control programs
- Institutionalize climate change adaptation measures
- Strictly implement environmental and land-use laws
- Provide climate adaptation fund for agriculture in the regions
- Adopt smart technology such as rainwater collection and impoundment
- Formulate policy that would prevent the Philippines from becoming a significant greenhouse gas emitter even as it industrializes
- Ratify the Paris Agreement
- Assist local governments to integrate disaster risk reduction plans into their development programs
- Encourage use of the People’s Survival Fund
- Accelerate exploration and development of renewable energy sources
- Mitigate water shortage and food insecurity in Mindanao through water conservation, innovative food crop production and infrastructure development
- Open to exploring sources of renewable energy to diversify the Philippines’ energy mix. But until all these sources of alternative energy can efficiently and effectively sustain the growing economy, the country will have to rely on coa
- Establish an independent disaster agency to help the government and the communities to improve their preparedness for and response to disasters
- Appoint Cabinet-level official to head the independent disaster agency
- Involve private sector, particularly the insurance industry, in setting up a financing system for disasters
- Launch citizen-led hazard mapping and risk reduction efforts
Listed is a summary of the presidential candidates' concrete action plans to give more Filipinos access to the Internet.For the full details of their plans, click here.
- In line with the United Nations declaration that Internet access is a human right, the Binay administration will give telecommunications concerns equal attention as those involving transportation.
- Establish a new department that will focus solely on information and communication.
- Regulate the Internet as basic infrastructure.
- Give telcos three months to achieve fast Internet and fix all problems encountered by the public. If they fail, we will revoke their franchises.
- Build a new international airport.
- In the meantime, improve the use of airports in Clark, Cebu, Laoag, Davao. Other airports will be provided with radar and night-landing facilities.
- Create a Department of Information and Communication Technology, which will ensure fast and affordable Internet services.
- Promote greater competition among service providers by liberalizing foreign ownership of utilities.
- Set up free WiFi zones in public buildings and schools.
- Provide more computers in public schools.
- Develop technology mentorship programs in public universities.
- Regulate telecommunication companies effectively. For example, instead of advertising Internet speed as "up to X mbps," they should say "minimum of." This way, consumers are protected and they get what they are paying for.
- Develop shared Internet infrastructure.
- Encourage telcos to increase their capital expenditures.
- Explore temporary solutions, including Internet protocol peering.
- Encourage, with legislative support, entry of more telcos.
- Build a new international airport.
- Build a railroad from Manila to Sorsogon.
- Develop an integrated urban transit system linking Metro Manila to surrounding provinces.